Connacht 47-5 Enisei-STM

Challenge Cup progression wasn’t fully in Connacht’s control but they gave themselves the best possible chance of reaching the quarter-finals of the European Challenge Cup when they ran in eight tries to hammer the Russians.

That left Pat Lam's side agonising over the final result from Kingston Park and their passage was confirmed when Brive were beaten by Newcastle Falcons.

Connacht dominated throughout and were well on their way to an emphatic victory when they led 25-0 after a very impressive opening half.

The bonus point was wrapped up by then and the mistake-ridden loss in Brive the previous week was becoming a distant memory.

Connacht were accomplished from the outset and and AJ MacGinty settled them with a 12th-minute penalty, even if it was scant reward for their dominance.

They had the wind behind them and they did the basics well, penning the Russians back deep inside their own half for long periods.

Connacht knew they needed tries but they were patient and did not panic.

And their patience was rewarded when Tiernan O’Halloran got the first after 16 minutes and Matt Healy followed four minutes later to make it 15-0 at the end of the opening quarter.

Connacht, winning 13 penalties and conceding none during the opening half, turned the screw and Denis Buckley scored his first European try in 20 appearances.

The bonus point was secured just before the interval when Danie Poolman scored in the right corner after a looping pass from returning centre Robbie Henshaw.

Henshaw gave Connacht the best possible start to the second-half when he scored just 28 seconds after the restart after a good break by MacGinty.

Enisei-STM grabbed a consolation try from flanker Vitalii Orlov after 47 minutes after a penalty to the left corner.

But Connacht took over again and replacement hooker Tom McCartney scored shortly after coming on, before Healy crossed for his second try on the hour to make it 40-5.

Replacement scrum-half Caolin Blade then wrapped up the win with their eighth try and after that it was just a matter of waiting until the final result came through from the Brive match.